Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
ADR is an important part of the legal process. We look at is an option for almost every case we undertake. The aim of ADR is to try and settle your case before starting legal proceedings. This means you save on high legal costs and Court time. There are a number of different approaches to ADR –
- Negotiations or round table discussions
Usually the first step in trying to resolve a dispute, we engage in negotiations, either on the phone or face-to-face.
A confidential process where both parties appoint a neutral intermediary to facilitate a settlement. You only have to abide by the final decision if both parties agree beforehand to do so.
Similar to mediation, conciliation is based on a neutral intermediary. The difference is that with conciliation, the conciliator will be more proactive and may suggest the best solution.
An arbitrator conducts the process, according to a timetable set by both parties. His final decision, called the ‘final award’ is binding. In other words, both parties must abide by the result.
We’ll advise you as to which of these is the most favourable for your circumstances.
Making a claim
If ADR hasn’t worked, then the next step is to issue legal proceedings. When this happens, we’ll prepare the necessary documents and issue your case in Court. If we need to, we’ll take statements from you and gather evidence. Your case will then be filed at Court and served on the other party.
Defending a claim made against you
Has someone made a claim against you? We can help.
First, we’ll file the necessary documents in Court and prepare your defence. If necessary, we’ll take a witness statement from you and gather the relevant evidence. We’ll then file your defence at Court and serve it on the other party.
Asking for time to pay a debt
Do you owe money, but you just need more time? We can help with this too.
It’s an unpleasant situation and you simply need some respite. Here’s what we’ll do. We’ll negotiate a settlement to try and avoid legal proceedings against you. If this doesn’t work out, or legal proceedings have already been issued, we can still help. We’ll arrange a post-issue ADR and we’ll file an admission in the Court, requesting time to pay. This normally involves you filling out a ‘means’ form, declaring your income and expenditure.
Judgements and Orders
The court can make a variety of judgements against you. Examples include a Default Judgement or a Summary Judgement. If you have a judgement made against you then it’s important to contact us. We’ll explain your options, or we may able to arrange for the judgement to be set aside.
If the Court does make an order against you, then it’s important that you comply. If you’re unsure about the status or nature of the Judgement, then let us know and we’ll clarify your position.
Enforcing a judgement – the alternatives
Do you perhaps have a Judgement against another person? If so, there are various ways for you to enforce it to recover the money. We’ll prepare an application to the court for one of the following –
- Third Party Debt Order
The Court can order an independent third party, who holds or owes money to the judgement debtor, to pay the outstanding sum directly to the judgement creditor.
- Charging Order
The Court can make these for High Court maintenance orders or for Judgements of over £5,000. This order is made over the property of a judgement debtor. This provides security for the debt. The money can only be recovered if the land is sold or if an order for sale is applied for.
- Order for Sale
The Court can order the sale of a property to release the money for a charging order (if there is any equity left after paying off any previous charging orders on the same property).
- Attachment of Earnings Order
This order allows for a sum of money to be taken from a debtor’s wages to pay off a judgement.
- The Writ of Control / the Warrant of Control
This allows High Court Enforcement Officers to take control of and sell at auction enough of the debtor’s goods to obtain funds to pay the money.
- Bankruptcy and Winding Up (Insolvency)
If a debt is more than £5,000 against an individual and £750.00 against a company, the creditor can pursue insolvency proceedings. This is usually only used as a last resort.
Dispute Resolution can be a particularly complex area of the law. So – it’s all the more important to receive the best professional legal support. Our Dispute Resolution specialists will give you all the guidance you need. Schedule a free 15-minute consultation, to discuss the best way forward for you.